Q&A With J.P. Morgan Asset And Wealth Management CEO Mary Callahan Erdoes

Mary Callahan Erdoes is CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset and Wealth Management, which won Best Private Bank in the World this year. She speaks with Global Finance about how the bank is adapting to new technologies and new clients—and busts some of the myths about private banking.

Global Finance: How does J.P. Morgan differentiate its private bank offerings?

Mary Callahan Erdoes: We lead with advice. It’s a very goals-based mindset, helping clients articulate and prioritize their life-defining goals. We develop financial plans from there.

We also operate through a team-based approach. The private banker is the quarterback and orchestrates the resources of the firm based on the client’s needs.  This could involve an investor, lending officer, trust officer, or a specialist in the Advice Lab or Philanthropy Centre.

Because our solutions offering is broad and deep, we can advise clients across their entire balance sheet: all types of investments, including an industry-leading alternative investment platform, banking, lending, mortgages, custody, trust and estates. We combine that with extensive digital capabilities. And the trust and stability of an organization like JPMorgan Chase, which has worked with clients across generations, through multiple cycles around the world, are differentiating features.

GF: Where do you see prime growth areas?

Erdoes: We see opportunities across the globe. Asia is still very much a growth area for the industry and us as a firm. We also see great opportunities within Europe and Latin America. For example, in Germany, we tripled our business over the past three years.

In the US, we also see a major growth opportunity for JPMorgan Chase—complementing our long-standing offering in the ultrahigh net worth space—to serve the continuum of wealth management, including the affluent and high net worth. We are investing a ton in this space: growing our client-adviser populations and entering new markets like Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and San Diego.

GF: How are you engaging younger clients? Are generational differences in wealth management exaggerated?

Erdoes: Many people think digital is just for the younger client, or that millennials don’t want to talk to people. We often see the opposite. Many of our younger Silicon Valley clients seek high-touch human advice around their complex trust and estate needs. We also see high adoption rates of our digital features with some of our more senior clients.

Within the digital space, last year we launched You Invest [which offers online investment capabilities]. The typical client for You Invest is about 16 years younger than our full-service private banking clients.

For over two decades, we have run Emerging Family Leaders events around the world [geared toward] the next generation of our client families. We take them through interactive learning modules on not just standard wealth management topics, but also on emerging themes such as AI [artificial intelligence]. We go long on key areas such as intent for wealth, family governance and philanthropy. Also, importantly, we provide a platform for peer-to-peer networking and learning.

We have a big focus on training and developing our analyst and associate populations. By design, we often have younger colleagues as part of the coverage teams; and they do an excellent job connecting with their peers on the client side, ensuring strong connectivity and understanding of families across generations.

GF: Different banks set different thresholds for private banking services. How about J.P. Morgan?

Erdoes: Client minimums are one of the biggest misconceptions in the wealth management industry. We don’t have hard and fast asset minimums. Our coverage is based on the complexity of a client’s needs. It’s really that simple: We want to match our clients’ needs with the coverage model that serves them best. For some, that will mean being surrounded by an integrated team that can give them advice across their balance sheet. For others in the US, they want to walk into their local Chase branch and meet with their adviser. With Chase Wealth Management, we can do that.